...for Green Infrastructure
“A leaner, lighter approach to infrastructure is more cost-effective, sustainable, and livable – an idea worth considering . . .”
The ratio of greenery to impervious pavement has a big impact on the quality of life and experience. The typical engineering approach to stormwater is to direct it to catch basins, install pipe, and dump it into geometrically shaped holes in the ground. Developers like to call the surrounding land “lakefront property”, but as the Bard said – “A rose by any other name . . .”
“If a street is primarily designed to move cars, it won't support social connections, small businesses, walking, or many of the other vital aspects of community life. In cities or towns (and in senior living communities), streets are public space.”
One of the first (and still effective) strategies of the New Urbansim
“Traditional neighborhood developments (TNDs), inspired by historic neighborhoods, jump-started the New Urbanism in the 1980's and 1990's as alternatives to conventional master-planned communities.” TNDs brought back the long-lost front porch, as well as accessory dwelling units and the rear garage.
Eat That Elephant One Bite at a Time!
“Great places are built in small increments.”
A good friend of mine, an executive in senior living, described to me an idea he and his team were considering: a pocket neighborhood where seniors can downsize and age in place gracefully. Many thoughtful design considerations will be built in, accommodating the aging process so that there is no need to relocate to a continuing care retirement community, assisted living, or even a skilled nursing facility.
Parking Lots Consume Lots of Land
Do we really need as many parking spaces on the campus as the City’s land development regulations say we do? We are currently working on the re-positioning of an older Life Plan Community. During construction, most of the staff is parking off site and being shuttled onto campus. The system is working nicely. But beyond that, do we really need 2 parking spaces per dwelling unit? Our innovative client is considering starting an in-house car rental company. Think car-share on steroids. And how will ride-share options like Uber and Lyft impact the need for storing cars on site? What about driver-less car technology? Suffice it to say that the times, they are a changin’.
They Don’t Fit the Profile . . .
I stumbled upon an article written by Amy Johnson, a Content Strategist for Criterion.B an agency focused on branding and inbound marketing for the commercial real estate and multifamily housing industry. She characterizes Boomers as having “no intention of settling into the assisted living or a retirement homes like their parents did (they actually dread the thought).”
We do a lot of work in the realm of Assisted Living and Memory Care residences. One of our goals is to provide opportunities for autonomy and sensory stimulation – getting outdoors for exercise, a breath of fresh air, decrease stress, and to help stabilize sleep/wake cycles.
Several months ago, I saw a LinkedIN posting from Sonata Senior Living about how they can help you Live it Up! and truly age well. Later, I received an e-mail and downloaded an Industry Report from Mather Lifeways about recent research that can transform aging services. So I thought – voila – more fodder for blogging with a spin on Exterior Design!
I recently read a great piece by Craig Witz entitled, A Senior Housing Planning Mantra – “Words, then Numbers and then Lines.” It was published on the Love and Company web site and dated October 30, 2018. In the article Mr. Witz rightly opines the correct order in which all successful senior housing projects should be planned – Words (program elements), Numbers (financial due diligence), and then Lines (design). Period.